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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Tricky Business - RIP? (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

charliecheckers
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While Tricky Business is not really dead, it does seem to be on life support. How disappointing this is, as I consider TMC and this forum to be an important part of who I am today. There is so much that can be shared and relationships that can develop through participation in robust conversations here. Unfortunately, there have been few new to join in discussions and many veterans who have left the discussions. So much so, that taking the time and effort to post has been reduced to little value.

This is not a new phenomenon. People have been mentioning this for some time. In a thread discussing TMC interface, here is an exchange between Mindpro and Steve Brooks just over a year ago:
Quote:
Mindpro said; "It's the middle of the afternoon normally a pretty decent time for members to be here and there are only 17 members online at the current time. I'm not sure many of these issues really matter"

(Steve Brooks response) You posted that statement an hour ago. I'm here now and there are currently 42 registered members online (logged-in) on this hot afternoon.

I don't think how many people are currently LOGGED-IN really matters. For example, though there are 42 registered members shown as LOGGED-IN, from my side of the screen there are actually 156 people reading the Café at this very moment (Back in the day we use to display how many folks were logged-in and how many people were lurking. We stopped showing the lurker count because it only slowed everything down).

All that said, what does it really matter? Its summertime and people are out camping, vacationing, etc this time of year. Summer is hell for magic shops, just ask any shop owner.

Your pointing out how many people you see actually logged-in means absolutely nothing in regards to whether or not we change our current interface.

For now, I am quite happy with how things are working but I do appreciate your thoughts and ideas.
Thank you.


In my opinion Mindpro was pointing out that there are much bigger concerns than the screen color and font. Steve’s response is defensive and dismissive of Mindpro's insight. Now, the reduced participation is that much more apparent and it seems time is running out.

As business owners, what are some ideas that could potentially improve the discussions here and return this section to it’s former glory? How can new people be attracted? Is this a goal that can be achieved?
Dannydoyle
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What former glory exactly? What specifically do you miss?

Online message boards across this Internet are and have been being replaced by Facebook and other mediums.

It is not new or news. When they were the only game in town it was easy. Now not so much. The very thing that helped create the forum helped to destroy it.

People are already on Facebook. It is just so much easier to go to that group of exact minded people to get your opinion praised than it is to log into another web site.
Danny Doyle
<BR>Semper Occultus
<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2019, Dannydoyle wrote:
What former glory exactly? What specifically do you miss?
When I first joined in 2011 there were a new threads daily, numerous responses throughout each day and input from many full time performers whose sole or primary income was generated from their performing business. One could ask a question and expect a number of opinions, products, and sources that would move them further ahead. There were those of us who were inexperienced who could join in and benefit from the exchanges. I recall young people from the US and as far away as Australia enjoying such a vibrant group. I would think even seasoned pros can benefit from learning new things or even articulating why they hold certain beliefs. I also was fortunate to develop lasting relationships outside of my on line experience. To me, those were the glory days.

Quote:
Online message boards across this Internet are and have been being replaced by Facebook and other mediums.
It is not new or news. When they were the only game in town it was easy. Now not so much. The very thing that helped create the forum helped to destroy it.
People are already on Facebook. It is just so much easier to go to that group of exact minded people to get your opinion praised than it is to log into another web site.

I agree that has occurred. I joined Facebook groups but never found the format as conducive to topic oriented discussions across a broad range of topics. I know there has been a splintering of social media outlets, which is why I question if people have ideas to how to build back this group to where it served as I described above. If the answer is no, fine - but I wanted to see if anyone had novel ideas or examples of any other groups that have succeeded in maintaining vibrant participation.
Mindpro
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On Aug 29, 2019, charliecheckers wrote:
While Tricky Business is not really dead, it does seem to be on life support. How disappointing this is, as I consider TMC and this forum to be an important part of who I am today. There is so much that can be shared and relationships that can develop through participation in robust conversations here. Unfortunately, there have been few new to join in discussions and many veterans who have left the discussions. So much so, that taking the time and effort to post has been reduced to little value.

This is not a new phenomenon. People have been mentioning this for some time. In a thread discussing TMC interface, here is an exchange between Mindpro and Steve Brooks just over a year ago:
Quote:
Mindpro said; "It's the middle of the afternoon normally a pretty decent time for members to be here and there are only 17 members online at the current time. I'm not sure many of these issues really matter"

(Steve Brooks response) You posted that statement an hour ago. I'm here now and there are currently 42 registered members online (logged-in) on this hot afternoon.

I don't think how many people are currently LOGGED-IN really matters. For example, though there are 42 registered members shown as LOGGED-IN, from my side of the screen there are actually 156 people reading the Café at this very moment (Back in the day we use to display how many folks were logged-in and how many people were lurking. We stopped showing the lurker count because it only slowed everything down).

All that said, what does it really matter? Its summertime and people are out camping, vacationing, etc this time of year. Summer is hell for magic shops, just ask any shop owner.

Your pointing out how many people you see actually logged-in means absolutely nothing in regards to whether or not we change our current interface.

For now, I am quite happy with how things are working but I do appreciate your thoughts and ideas.
Thank you.


In my opinion Mindpro was pointing out that there are much bigger concerns than the screen color and font. Steve’s response is defensive and dismissive of Mindpro's insight. Now, the reduced participation is that much more apparent and it seems time is running out.

As business owners, what are some ideas that could potentially improve the discussions here and return this section to it’s former glory? How can new people be attracted? Is this a goal that can be achieved?




(long post warning...)


This is a very interesting post. I'm not sure it's a "RIP for Tricky Business" as much as it is a perspective on the Café as a whole. Danny is right it is greatly due to Facebook groups. However, based on my research and many contacts those are seeing a drop in participation and activity as well. I have always believed there will be a return here by some, which in small numbers I have started to see.

I also remember thinking at the time that I didn't think Steve really understood the points I was observing. I was doing a comparison to months and previous years as far as numbers. Of course, he does have access to numbers we don't but I suspect they would reflect similarly. If at a certain time there were only 17 or 42 members online, my point is those numbers (and participation) were down from they same typical times a year, two or five prior when I would sign on and see 62, 82, 94 or members online the Café more regularly at certain times during the day. Even overnight or early morning times reflected this too. It wasn't in any way to imply the Café is less valuable or serving to Steve or anyone here, just a noticing of lower numbers of members online overall at any given time by comparison. My point was it is it wasn’t just a Tricky Business thing, but an overall Café thing, and not out of line given new trendy available resources.

I do think there are things that could be done and it is not too late for it. But first we have to have people here willing to and wanting to learn. This is what I have noticed is missing more than anything. However, I think there is a perception in today’s world that needing or asking for assistance is a sign of weakness, especially for those already in business. I deal with this a lot with those I work with and once we breakthrough that amazing progress can happen.

In reality, I think as far as Tricky Business goes (and this also applies to other parts of the Café) I think several to many different things are at play in addition to FB Groups. For example, people come here (TB) to learn about business operations, perhaps a new or specific areas within their business operations, or to educate, grow or expand their business knowledge as it applies to evolve their business. Others want to make the leap from hobbyist to performing for pay and all that goes with it.

The difference is many come here, take what they want, and then leave and go off and try, use, or adapt what they have acquired (taken). They don't stick around to become regular contributors. A while later they will revisit but not much more. Most no longer stay here to continue to share their journey and growth. Of course those that remain here are those that continue to help, offer, and assist, but that is just a handful of us.

Also there is a tone to Tricky Business that is reflective of much of the magic community and entertainment community in general which differs from previous years. Today people just want to take what they want - quick answers or solutions to problem areas, that they can take and run with. Like Google -take it and go. They don't want to truly learn the business behind it, the reasoning or purpose, or the greater picture. People rarely ask "why" anymore to really learn the entire picture. They would rather either just voice their own opinions or look for others that support their opinion - right, wrong or in difference.

Magicians don't really want to hear the truth or what they need to hear. I see this in other entertainment communities I am active in, but not anywhere near as much as the magic community. In previous years members here would welcome such information, be interested in learning what they didn't know, and would not just seek answers to what they need, but wanting to know and understand the "whys" behind it all.

I truly believe that Charliecheckers was one of the last guys that I can remember that would look at things beyond surface value and truly have an interest in wanting to know the "whys", reasons, and workings behind the information. This just isn't happening here, which I (and some others) realize what a shame it is, as many (really most) of us grew up wishing we had such advisors or experienced professions to turn to,to ask such questions and to learn so much from. Not just someone who could provide the needed information and insight that we needed, but someone that was truly interested in helping them and their performing business. This was just unheard of for generations.

Because of this, guys/gals not hearing what they need to hear or an honest realization of something rather than just the common or popular perception, they become combative, defensive, and even complain about the person offering the valued insight chooses to deliver that information. It really has the feeling of them feeling entitled to it here, yet again, giving nothing back (just taking) and complaining about it on the way out the door. This includes no respect, protocol, and manners in such a forum.

That is not how it has been in the past. The last two summers I have been on the road and have going back over the last ten year so of threads here in Tricky Business. Every one of the things I have just mentioned here have been very clearly apparent and noticeable.
You can see the members that were here to learn, then just checked out once they got what they wanted. I ALWAYS hear the same excuse or explanation - I am out in the real world working. Any true working professional would not have time to be on The Magic Café. BS! I am on the road 40-43 weeks a year performing full-time, 97% on the road. I've toured every Spring for over 30 years straight usually from March through June, I am in airports, hotels, rest stops, travel centers, backstage, or in dressing/green rooms, and I have always had plenty of time to post regularly - with details full information and posts, handle many PMs and emails a day, PLUS still handle my complete load of coaching students and consulting clients. Some hire me to go and spend a day, weekend or week in their hometown to give their compete business a true assessment and overhaul, others come to Vegas for a day, several, or a week for personal guidance here. During my Spring tour, some even come on the road with me and spend 24 hours on the road in a day in my life with me. I still have time to post, contribute, and keep things straight here. So that excuse holds no weight with me.

This forum was one of the most helpful on the Café and it, more than any other forum here, could directly affect one's income, success, profitability, and bottom line.

The information age has changed things. It creates many false realities and perceptions. This of course occurs here and is, in my opinion, part of the root problem and concern here. The Magic Café welcomes anyone, much like the magic community. There is no gatekeeper, requirements, or barriers to enter. Any kid that buys a Sven deck or receives a magic set can believes they are, and call themselves a magician. In no other profession or industry or even hobby, entertainment or otherwise, is that the norm.

Here this leads to newbies, beginners, amateurs, and hobbyists that try to go toe to toe with longtime skilled professionals. They see it all as peers. They offer their uneducated opinions against a professional knowledge based on years of actual real work experience. It then becomes theory or opinion, vs. experience and fact. That will never lead to anywhere productive because it removes the teacher-student dynamic when everyone thinks opinion is all that matters. It would be like a classroom without a teacher.

As I said, people these days don't want to learn or become knowledgeable or educated. Their ideas of this is having someone answer their questions quickly and on a silver platter.

Also I don't feel members here promote this valuable resource to others. I can't tell you how many hundreds of members I have directly recommended here. When I get PMs I often encourage them to post it here in TB as it can help others as well at the same time who could benefit from this.

The pride isn't here any more or the sense of community or being part of the community. People don’t operate from a community or industry perspective, but rather their own perspective (which is often uninformed and uneducated.) Guys that could be posting and be productive members here and really stimulate great threads and discussions have disappeared and now choose to only pop-in when they have something to promote or are selling something, or to encourage others to come here and "leave a review or feedback" only to toot their own horns. They are not regular contributors.

As I said, there are many things wrong here that I feel could be easily corrected. Simply put what most people want can be broken down into two groups:

1. Those that want to interact and exchange with peers at their current and same level

and

2. Those that have a genuine interest to learn from those identified as having real, actual experience that could help, assist and educate them - to learn from others with greater knowledge and experience.

There should be an area for professionals where pros can discuss and share with other working pros. Most of the amateurs and hobbyists and newbies have driven away many of the pros.

This is a time where we need to unify and unite members, not divide and pit them against each other. I have ways in mind to do this that I won't get into here, but there could be a way to move forward with much more here than would be available in any FB groups. I think there are better ways to serve the community than just leaving it up to magicians helping magicians, as is can be good up to a point, but it could be much greater with only minimal efforts.

I can't tell you how much support and respect Tricky Business gets here in PMs I regularly receive, but it is the same things allowed to happen that always prevent them from wanting to posts - those that have little or no experience chiming in with uneducated opinions, which leads to derailments and then we all now what happens then.

I must say, one of the greatest disappointments here in Tricky Business was something that occurred (or didn't occur) back in May. This actually demonstrated one of my points out the difference here in TB over just a couple of years ago. Back in May, one of our regular contributors that what we have all had a chance to follow their burgeoning career achieved a life milestone by graduating from college. Over the past several years he shared his journey with us here in Tricky Business - how he and his brother (coincidentally the OP) started a magic performing business as teens, then took over much of the business as his brother became more consumed with med school (Dr. Charlie!) We learned of his transition, in some ways a whole new beginning, how in college he was elected one of the Top 5 Young Entrepreneurs IN THE COUNTRY! During this time he took advantage of a rare opportunity to work with me in my coaching program for 30 days. Seeing the opportunity he took full advantage of it, which opened both new doors and his eyes to a world of possibilities. After hearing for years people questioning my coaching successes with performers and entertainment business owners, he decided to allow unprecedented access to his coaching journey, documented here for all to see, follow and to gain a better understanding of which many were unclear on or didn't understand before. He even recorded a video to better help those struggling to understand his "why" and how he was benefitting. I could go on, but to say the least he acknowledged he was new and learning and felt his learning and personal journey could help others at all levels. Then above all of that he became a regular contributor here since his day one with us here after being introduced by his brother will full setup and explanation.

Then we cut to May. He (Cafecheckers) graduates and excitedly shared a post with us https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......forum=44 about it and him finally being here after a three-year journey as he started his first day being a full-time entertainer and entertainment, business operator. An exciting and momentous time for him (or anyone). And.....nothing. One of the most active posters here in TB, sharing more than most have that have been here years, and not a single "congratulations" or any "words of encouragement" - NOTHING! Not even for those that encourage anyone for anything, ethical or not. Not a single response to his post.

Aside from being disappointed in the TB community, it shows the difference here than just a few years ago when there would have been a dozen or more posts encouraging him, commenting on following his journey, his accompaniments, his achieving his goals, asking what is next, and so on.

This is the main difference here today. I don't believe it is a Facebook thing, just a lack of support from within the TB community. Either people here no longer care, can not support each other here, or other reasons which seem uncommon here for many of us, it is the current state. It is a shame.

This is just one example.

Also, I don't think many coming into magic today do it to perform professionally or want to see it as a money-making opportunity, career, professional or business opportunity. This alone will make TB much thinner in interest. Couple this with the know-it-all mentalities of many magicians, and we see the result here in TB. Then it seems those that are here are content with their current business and don't seem to have any desire for further education and discussion on greater topics and depths. That leads us to its current state.

So many members on the Café that hang out in other forums do not even know we have had a business section or forum here on the Café. In-house cross-promotion could be a great place to start.
So much more that could be said, but a great observation by the OP. I'd love to hear some more topics, ideas, and areas of interest to stimulate some more discussions as well and put TB back to it’s former position in the Café, big numbers or not.
charliecheckers
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Quote:
On Aug 29, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
I must say, one of the greatest disappointments here in Tricky Business was something that occurred (or didn't occur) back in May. This actually demonstrated one of my points out the difference here in TB over just a couple of years ago. Back in May, one of our regular contributors that what we have all had a chance to follow their burgeoning career achieved a life milestone by graduating from college. Over the past several years he shared his journey with us here in Tricky Business - how he and his brother (coincidentally the OP) started a magic performing business as teens, then took over much of the business as his brother became more consumed with med school (Dr. Charlie!) We learned of his transition, in some ways a whole new beginning, how in college he was elected one of the Top 5 Young Entrepreneurs IN THE COUNTRY! During this time he took advantage of a rare opportunity to work with me in my coaching program for 30 days. Seeing the opportunity he took full advantage of it, which opened both new doors and his eyes to a world of possibilities. After hearing for years people questioning my coaching successes with performers and entertainment business owners, he decided to allow unprecedented access to his coaching journey, documented here for all to see, follow and to gain a better understanding of which many were unclear on or didn't understand before. He even recorded a video to better help those struggling to understand his "why" and how he was benefitting. I could go on, but to say the least he acknowledged he was new and learning and felt his learning and personal journey could help others at all levels. Then above all of that he became a regular contributor here since his day one with us here after being introduced by his brother will full setup and explanation.

Then we cut to May. He (Cafecheckers) graduates and excitedly shared a post with us https://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/view......forum=44 about it and him finally being here after a three-year journey as he started his first day being a full-time entertainer and entertainment, business operator. An exciting and momentous time for him (or anyone). And.....nothing. One of the most active posters here in TB, sharing more than most have that have been here years, and not a single "congratulations" or any "words of encouragement" - NOTHING! Not even for those that encourage anyone for anything, ethical or not. Not a single response to his post.

Aside from being disappointed in the TB community, it shows the difference here than just a few years ago when there would have been a dozen or more posts encouraging him, commenting on following his journey, his accompaniments, his achieving his goals, asking what is next, and so on.

This is the main difference here today. I don't believe it is a Facebook thing, just a lack of support from within the TB community. Either people here no longer care, can not support each other here, or other reasons which seem uncommon here for many of us, it is the current state. It is a shame.


I would agree with this, without regard to who you were referring to. I know my brother was even more disappointed a few months before that when TMC moderators made the decision to “Lock” the thread he initiated on coaching. He asked the moderator why they locked it and they responded there was no new content being posted. Rather than try to help facilitate a meaningful conversation by removing the detractors or asking meaningful questions themselves (as moderators) my brother felt they acted more in a policing manner, despite his willingness to share his experience while on the cusp of going full time. It seems a bit shorted sighted to conclude there can be no furtherance of the discussion. Indeed, since that time my brother has grown tremendously in his coaching enrichment and business acumen. This, to me, is another reason why participation has dwindled.
Mindpro
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Quote:
On Aug 31, 2019, charliecheckers wrote:

I would agree with this, without regard to who you were referring to. I know my brother was even more disappointed a few months before that when TMC moderators made the decision to “Lock” the thread he initiated on coaching. He asked the moderator why they locked it and they responded there was no new content being posted. Rather than try to help facilitate a meaningful conversation by removing the detractors or asking meaningful questions themselves (as moderators) my brother felt they acted more in a policing manner, despite his willingness to share his experience while on the cusp of going full time. It seems a bit shorted sighted to conclude there can be no furtherance of the discussion. Indeed, since that time my brother has grown tremendously in his coaching enrichment and business acumen. This, to me, is another reason why participation has dwindled.



I agree with what you've said. We must understand the moderators are not always as up on the content and goings-on and undertones in each specific forum as we may wish they were, and they are doing the best with what is obviously a monumental task.

With that said, a few things played into the thread you are specifically mentioning. There was a member at the time that was regularly flaming, trolling and was primarily responsible for initially derailing the thread in subject and tone, doing some intentional slinging and more which ultimately led to that thread being locked. The real shame is without that personal trolling, flaming, and derailing, it was one of the most productive, honest, revealing and popular threads of the last ten years. I still get many that make reference to that thread by PMs and emails.

It was the kind of thread that wasn't always active until there were either questions, or updates from the OP. The real crime at the time is it was locked just before the OP was about to do a major update. I'm guessing because of the trolling and personal agenda exploding at the time, he refrained.

Ultimate that problematic member is no longer on TMC and the thread has been unlocked. I do hope Cafécheckers provides the intended update as he told me he would be doing and likely as the reason the moderators, in fact, unlocked that thread after removing some of the derailed content.

But you do bring up a very valid point, Rather than policing the content, which is often taken way off course or usually out of context when these derailments happen, rather than removing posts and policing as you say, I think the greater issue of benefit would be removing the people that cause this to happen, take the topics off course, troll, flame, intentionally start confrontations, spread false information, and have personal agenda, and often speak about something they have no experience of which damages any topic, especially in the business forums (TB) where separating fact from opinion is so important.

I was contacted by the mods at the time and they were doing everything they could to be fair and even give the problem member a chance to apologize, correct the behavior, and to be a productive contributing member. It didn't happen so the action was taken.

We have all seen it over the years, a member that has been problematic gets banned or suspended and everything then gets back on track and is fine. members slowly come back feeling its safe to post without problems or agendas. To me, this should be the greater concern. Are they here to learn, are they here to progress the thread or something personal just to go against members they dislike or disagree with based on opinion.

This is part of some of the possible solutions I mentioned and was referring to above. There could be a better way to monitor and prevent this, rather than policing it, and it affecting content and good contributions.

You always hear so many people say "there is such valuable information shared and offered in Tricky Business but you have to wade through so much BS and nonsense to get to the value and good stuff." I hear this all the time and I know others do too. Stop the nonsense and BS and all that remains is the productive and valuable content. I know this alone would pick up participation and involvement, create better and more detailed discussions, and could restore it to being the most helpful and directly beneficial forums to one's perfomign business.
cafecheckers
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It’s hard to believe it has only been a bit over three months ago that I started full time! So much has happened in the development of my business and in my personal skill set growth. In addition to my busy summer library tour, I have been working seemingly non stop on the business side of things. I have greatly enlarged my opportunity to take advantage of Mindpro’s coaching services and products so that I am market ready for each different market I pursue. This means website, materials and show production. Mindpro has viewed and filmed several of my shows and given feedback so crucial for me to move to the next level. It is extremely exciting and rewarding! I have been collaborating with authors and toy companies as well as film makers to produce products that compliment live performances. My brother has been a huge asset, and continued partner.

I did not take the lack of response to my post of going full time personally. I saw it just affirming my belief that the forum is no longer carrying the interest or participation it had for the years back when we first joined. Even this thread reaffirms my belief. Most have moved on. The community is no longer very active.
thomasR
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There's been some pretty great content posted here from Lady Houdini, Ray, Christian & Katalina etc. The more real pro's we can get posting, the better. Checkers going 100% pro can be added to that list as well. Smile
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